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Student Science Enrichment

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The programs listed here are for students from elementary school to high school. All include outreach opportunities for Dartmouth faculty and students.

 Cell Biology and Light Microscopy Lab

Audience/Age: The 60-90 minute lessons are developed in collaboration with the classroom teacher (best suited for middle or high school students studying cell biology).
Aim: Students will learn how microscopes are used in the study of cell biology and learn about cell biology research taking place at Dartmouth. The sessions are led by graduate students and post-doctoral scholars. The leaders will give examples from their own work in cell biology to demonstrate how light microscopy is used as a tool for their research. The sessions will also introduce students to a variety of light microscopy techniques including, bright-field, phase-contrast, differential interference contrast (DIC), and fluorescence microscopy. Students will use research-level microscopes and digital image capture systems to view a variety of fixed and live cell specimens. They can also image their own cheek cells!
Cost: Free
When: By request and availability
Contact: E-mail Ann Lavanway, Jessica DeSimone, or Kelly Salmon.

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 School Science Café

This school-based program for sixth- to high school level students is based on the public Science Cafés that began in the late 1990s in the United Kingdom as a means of engaging a broader segment of the public in science and its impact on daily life. Held in a common room or school cafeteria during lunch period or classroom time, these sessions involve a guest scientist — a Dartmouth graduate student or postdoc in the “STEM” disciplines of science, technology, engineering or math — who talks with students about his or her research and career path in science. Sessions are designed to be highly interactive, and the goal is to engage students in studying science and in considering STEM careers. Graduate students and postdocs who participate in this outreach are offered professional development training in communicating science with school children. School Science Café is a program developed by Dartmouth’s Office of Science and Technology Outreach and the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL) in collaboration with local teachers and Dartmouth graduate students and postdocs.

A current list of graduate students and postdocs who can visit your school and their research topics can be found here.

If you have a particular topic in mind that is not on this list please let us know and we may be able to help you.

Cost: None

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Mini-Poster Sessions

This science enrichment activity, suggested by a 9th grade science teacher in Thetford, Vermont, is designed to support students who are learning to create high-school level science posters describing their research projects. These involve five to six graduate students and postdoctoral who give a short (5-6 minute) poster talk then respond to student questions. Participating Dartmouth students receive a “poster talk” training, and many past participants have been winners of Dartmouth’s Graduate Student and Postdoctoral poster sessions. Mini-poster sessions are usually scheduled after the high-school students have begun work developing their own posters.

Cost: None
When: Ongoing; duration is one class period
Contact: Amanda Skinner, Assistant Director of Outreach

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Fostering Scientific Creativity- GK12 Program

Fostering Scientific Creativity is the theme of a project funded by the National Science Foundation, through its Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program. The five-year grant, which was awarded to Dartmouth in 2010, funds fellowships and training for graduate students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enabling fellows to collaborate with teachers in school classrooms for a full school year to develop inquiry-based activities designed to increase students’ understanding of and interest in science. Dartmouth’s GK-12, which was developed in partnership with Upper Valley teachers, is focusing on fostering scientific creativity in school children and in graduate students. Graduate Fellows will also develop after-school activities, arrange field trips and visits from Dartmouth faculty, and facilitate other STEM enrichment.

Cost: None (Graduate Fellows and Partner Teachers receive a stipend)
When: 2014-2015 is the final year of the five-year GK-12 Program. Stay tuned for future teacher-scientist partnership opportunities.

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The Department of Biological Sciences Greenhouse

The Department of Biological Sciences Greenhouse houses an extensive and varied plant collection with a wide range of diversity, utility and beauty. Among its most popular collections is the Brout Orchid Collection, which includes thousands of species of orchids. There is also a tropical plant room, a sub-tropical room, and xeric room. While continuing its primary educational mission, this living botanical museum is available for community and school tours. It's open to the public from 8:30 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. The Greenhouse is located on the 4th floor of Class of 1978 Life Sciences Building at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Cost: None
When: Ongoing
Contact: Kim DeLong, Greenhouse Curator and Manager (603) 646-2382, or e-mail

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Exploring Mathematics Workshops

Exploring Mathematics Workshops are two week-long summer programs open to all interested students in the region who have had at least 1 year of high school algebra. Instructors are currently enrolled as Ph.D. candidates in mathematics, have completed their Masters degree and have had two years of tutoring experience. They teach the summer program simultaneously while taking the graduate student teaching seminar. Teaching the Exploring Mathematics program is done in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. requirement in Mathematics.

When: TBD

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Design it! Build it! Summer Engineering Workshop for students entering grades 11 and 12

High school students will work collaboratively with Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students to design, build, and test engineering prototypes. Hands-on activities throughout the workshop will help them explore and understand engineering. The workshop is designed for students to:

  • Experience the creativity of engineering and the many interdisciplinary opportunities it offers,
  • Develop engineering skills, including problem-solving and design skills,
  • Use computer-aided software for design (SolidWorks) and machining (such as laser-cutting and 3D printing)
  • Have fun!

Dates: There is no summer workshop at Dartmouth this year. Alternative programs have been developed in partnership with the Montshire Museum of Science

For More information: Design It Build It, Summer Engineering Workshop at Dartmouth

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Security, Technology & Society High School Summer Workshop

From July 10 through July 14, the Institute for Security, Technology and Society (ISTS) will convene a summer workshop for high school students on the Dartmouth College campus.  The workshop explores current interdisciplinary research in cyber security and privacy. 

The workshop is a day program* only - there is no on-campus lodging or meal plan provided.

When: July 10-14, 2015; 9am-3pm
Where: Dartmouth College Campus
Cost: Free; Participants must apply; Deadline May 15, 2017
For more information: Security, Technology and Society High School Summer Workshop
Contact: If you have any questions about the program, please email ISTS or call 603.646.0700

After School Science and Engineering

After School Science and Engineering is an inventive STEM enrichment program run by Dartmouth students (undergraduate and graduate) who enjoy sharing their passion for science and engineering with children in elementary school and junior high. Weekly during each academic term, Dartmouth students lead hand-on activities that exemplify fundamental concepts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In the past, students have built everything from boats and rockets to mouse trap dragsters and gumdrop towers under the guidance of experienced student mentors. Projects and lessons are tailored to the ages of the students.

When: Ongoing
Where: Schools in the Upper Valley region
Contact: Dartmouth students interested in participating in this outreach and school representatives who would like to sponsor the program should contact Alden Adolph and Valerie Hanson

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Science Day at Dartmouth

Audience/Age: Activities are designed for students in grades 5-10, but all curious minds are welcome to attend!
Aim: Area students are invited to visit Dartmouth College laboratories to learn about scientific research and meet real scientists-in-training. All students must be accompanied by an adult. Dartmouth graduate students, from a variety of scientific disciplines, will lead fun and interactive activities/demonstrations. Spend the day with us and learn just how exciting research can be!
RSVP requested, but not required

When: TBD; this is an annual event which takes place in Spring. Drop-in style from 10am to 3pm.
Where: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
Cost: Free and open to middle school students and their parents or other adult chaperones
Registration and more information:

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Thayer School of Engineering Annual Open House

Each Spring, Thayer School welcomes the public into its laboratories and work areas to see how engineering prepares students to innovate in medicine, public policy, law, architecture, design, technology, entrepreneurship, and more. Enjoy tours, exhibits, and demonstrations by engineering faculty, staff and students as well as engineers from local industry.

When: Annually each Spring
Where: Thayer School of Engineering
Cost: Free; Food and refreshments provided
Contact: Jenna Wheeler or call (603) 646-3677 or visit

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Upper Valley Brain Bee

The Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth and the Society for Neuroscience New Hampshire Chapter are hosting the third annual Upper Valley Brain Bee at Dartmouth College on Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 10am-3pm. The Brain Bee is a fun and educational neuroscience competition for high school students. Self study materials available and Dartmouth graduate students are available to visit your school to help you train. See info link for details. We hope to show students the fun in learning about the brain and to provide an opportunity to experience what the field of neuroscience is all about!

When: Annually
Where: Dartmouth College, Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, Room 200
Cost: Free to all; Registration required by May 2nd (see link below for details)
More Info and Registration:

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Karen E. Wetterhahn Science Poster Symposium

Karen E. Wetterhahn Science Poster Symposium, Dartmouth's annual poster session and celebration of undergraduate science research at Dartmouth, is open to the public. Area math and science teachers and their students are encouraged to attend. The Symposium, usually held the last Thursday in May, features a prominent woman scientist as keynote speaker and showcases the work of 80-100 enthusiastic undergraduate Dartmouth women and men across all of the sciences and engineering. 

When: Annually
Where: Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center
Contact: Kathy Scott Weaver, Assistant Director, Undergraduate Advising and Research (603) 646-3685.

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Junior Solar Sprint

Junior Solar Sprint is a model solar car competition for middle school students that is sponsored by the US Army Educational Outreach Program and is part of the STEM educational initiative. The Thayer School of Engineering chapter of Tau Beta Pi works with engineers in the local community to host the competition for Upper Valley schools. Participating middle school students develop teamwork and problem solving abilities, investigate environmental issues, gain hands-on engineering skills, and use principals of science and math to get the fastest, most interesting, and best-crafted vehicle possible. Teams can enter their cars in local design and race competitions. Dartmouth students and faculty are welcome to participate in this outreach.

When: Annually
Where: Lebanon CCBA, Lebanon, NH
Cost: Please contact organizers for entry fee details.
Contact: Douglas Van Citters

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Dartmouth LEGO League

Dartmouth LEGO League, which is run by students from the Thayer School of Engineering, sets up mentoring partnerships between Dartmouth students and local FIRST LEGO League teams each year for the entire season — September through November. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology was founded by New Hampshire inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Since 2008, Thayer has also hosted the area's regional tournament, which takes place in the middle of November.

Where: Team mentoring takes place in local communities; the tournament takes place at Thayer School.
When: Annually, September – November,
Cost: Attendance at the tournament is free to the public; school teams must pay a registration fee, purchase a robot, and buy each year's playing field of missions. There is also a standard fee for tournament participation.
Contact: Dartmouth students interested in mentoring a FIRST LEGO League team and schools who would like to participate in the Dartmouth LEGO Leagues should contact Kelly Randall , 425-220-8169 or Dartmouth LEGO League.


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 Sonia Kovalevsky Math Day

The Dartmouth Department of Mathematics will host a Sonia Kovalevsky Math Day. This is a program of hands-on workshops and talks for middle and high school female students and their teachers, both women and men. The purpose of the day is to encourage young women to continue their study of mathematics and to assist the teachers of female mathematics students.

Free and Fun! Continental Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.

When:  Annually
Where: Department of Mathematics, Kemeny Hall
Cost: Free

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North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad

NACLO is an olympiad consisting of language puzzles, conducted across the US and Canada for students in grades 6-12. More than 1500 students are expected to participate this year. The test will be of particular interest to students who enjoy logic, math and/or language. No background in computer science, linguistics, or second languages is required. The top scorers will represent the US in the International Linguistics Olympiad in the summer. NACLO has been conducted since 2007, but this is the first time a test site will be hosted in the Upper Valley. Registration is free, and you are encouraged to sign up by January 20. An information session will be held at Dartmouth in early January to discuss problem-solving strategies for the test, and answer questions about studying linguistics, computer science, and computational linguistics in college.

When: Annually
Cost: Free
Contact:  or visit

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Last Updated: 9/1/17